Martin began as a comedy writer in 1967 on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour[?]. Martin, along with the other writers for that show, won the Emmy Award in 1969. Martin also wrote for The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour from 1969-1972 and Van Dyke and Company in 1975 (for which he received an Emmy nomination).
Martin began performing in front of the camera on shows like Ray Stevens Show in 1970, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour from 1972 to 1973, The Ken Berry Show in 1972, The Smothers Brothers Show in 1975, and Johnny Cash and Friends in 1976. Martin became a household name in 1975 with frequent appearances on NBC's Saturday Night Live. Martin was responsible for two of the shows earliest catch phrases; Well, excuuuuse me!, we are two wild and crazy guys!. Martin has made more appearances on the show than any other guest host since 1975.
As a stand up comic, Martin exuded an off kilter, ironic comedic style that almost mocked the traditional stand up genre. Much of his comedy was visual, built as much around his persona and what he did as around what he actually said. Typical gags included putting a fake arrow through his head while performing, or pausing in the middle of a routine to sip from a glass of water, and then just as he was about to speak again, spitting the water onto the floor. By the end of the 1970s, he had acquired the kind of following normally reserved for rock stars, with his tour appearances typically occurring at sold-out arenas filled with screaming fans. In response to the immense pressure associated with being a pop icon, he underwent a career shift, and in 1980 he gave up stand up comedy to concentrate on doing films instead.
In 1979, Martin wrote and starred in his first movie, The Jerk, directed by Carl Reiner. Martin followed that film with two more Reiner directed comedies, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid in 1982, and The Man with Two Brains in 1983.
In 1986, Martin joined fellow Saturday Night Live veterans Martin Short[?] and Chevy Chase in íThree Amigos![?], which was directed by John Landis[?], and written by Martin, Lorne Michaels and Randy Newman.
Martin is also an avid art collector and a trustee of the Los Angeles Museum of Art[?]. Martin's personal collection includes the art of O'Keefe[?], Diebenkorn[?], de Kooning[?], Kline[?], Twombly[?], Frankenthaler, Edward Hopper, Hockney, Lichtenstein, and Picasso.